local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

For the week of June 12 - 18, 2002


Sun Valley Co. to buy Elkhorn golf course

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Co. revealed Tuesday that it has a tentative agreement with new owners of the Elkhorn Resort to acquire the Elkhorn golf course as well as shut down the Elkhorn ski lift.

The disclosure came in a letter from Wally Huffman, general manager of the Sun Valley Co., to Sun Valley planning and zoning administrator Jack Cloud.

Sun Valley and Elkhorn residents look over plans for the makeover of the Elkhorn Resort. Express photo by Willy Cook


The letter was read during a planning and zoning commission hearing as Elkhorn’s new owners continued outlining plans to level and rebuild the resort around fractional ownership condos and a huge recreational facility.

In his letter, Huffman wrote that the agreement includes:

1 – Renumbering the golf course, building a new golf clubhouse and potential ski lodge building as well as a new driving range and practice greens at the base of Dollar Mountain. The Sun Valley Co. would assume all Elkhorn golf memberships in due course.

2 – Removing the existing Elkhorn golf clubhouse, driving range and practice greens.

3 – Removing the ski lift and conveying to Elkhorn’s owners title to land at the ski lift base.

4 – Creating a children’s play lot and sledding hill on the site of the original driving range at Elkhorn.

Huffman’s letter gave no details of financial arrangements, or when work would commence and be completed. Huffman was on vacation and could not be reached for additional details, and Sun Valley Co. Marketing Director Jack Sibbach said he had no further information.

If the agreement is finalized and the Sun Valley Co. operates the golf course, Dollar Mountain would then become a year-round recreational operation. In the winter, it’s a popular ski mountain for beginners as well as families with small children.

The tentative deal between Elkhorn’s owners and the Sun Valley Co. was the high point of more than an hour of the P&Z’s hearing of more details of plans to rebuild the resort.

The Elkhorn resort has changed hands nearly a dozen times since its construction in 1976, and the new owners, Greenfield Partners LLC and Chesapeake Hotel Group, have concluded that leveling the hotel and rebuilding with condos and elaborate residential amenities will be more successful.

In a long narrative of how the future property will look, Greenfield Partners representative Greg DeStefano presented schematics showing lush landscaping; extensive pedestrian paths through the property; a 14,000-square foot multi-level "amenities" complex with six rooftop tennis courts, underground parking, gym facilities and swimming pool, and seven five-story condos at the heart of the development.

To a question from the audience, DeStefano said Elkhorn would have no tennis facilities for two seasons once the existing courts are razed this winter.

If approved, phased demolition of facilities would begin Sept. 15, and DeStefano assured the commission and audience of perhaps 50 residents attending the hearing that as work progressed the area would be tidy.

One person voiced strong reservations about the project, which he said would create "a huge change in the master plan and Sun Valley." He compared the razing of the Elkhorn Resort to Sun Valley Co. owner Earl Holding announcing that the Sun Valley Inn and Lodge would no longer be part of the community.

But DeStefano disagreed. He said the new owners are creating "a far superior environment" with the new plan.

P&Z commission chairman Jim McLaughlin asked DeStefano to produce a selection of photos that would visualize what nearby homeowners might see of the new Elkhorn project from their windows.

And Commissioner Nils Ribi posed several questions for DeStafano to answer later ¾ is there any archaeological impact of construction; will stops be provided for KART buses; what sort of exterior lighting is planned; will there be employee housing; and precisely what is the time frame for each phase of development.

Commissioner Mark Pynn pointed out that with such heavy construction over a period of so many years, the owners must consider the wear and tear on Sun Valley roads and the cost of maintenance.

Elkhorn owners have also created a large scale model of how the eventual redevelopment will appear.

The P&Z has asked the owners to respond to questions, and has invited further public comment in writing. No date has been set for a final decision on Elkhorn’s plans.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.